Global Child Health


How has global infant mortality changes over time?

Watch Hans Rosling’s “The River of Myths” (1) - (3min)

How does the United States compare to other countries in terms of infant mortality?

Watch Healthcare Triage’s “Infant Mortality in the United States is Surprisingly High” (2) - (6min)

What are the most important trends in child mortality worldwide?

Check out the interactive graphs at Our World in Data (3) - (5min)


Within the US, what are the racial disparities in infant mortality?

Watch Unnatural Causes “Unraveling the Mystery of Black-White Differences in Infant Mortality” (4) - (5min)

How does infant mortality in New York State compare to the rest of the world?

Watch PBS “Surviving Year One” (5) - (26min)


How is this relevant to New York Presbyterian?

 The population of Washington Heights and Inwood is 71% Hispanic, 17% White, 7% Black, 3% Asian, and 1% Other (6). Almost 50% of residents are foreign-born, and 39% have limited English proficiency (6). Washington Heights and Inwood have similar rates of preterm births to New York City overall at 8.5% of all live births (6). While the infant mortality rate is similar to Manhattan overall at 3.6 per 1,000 lives births, it is still more than 3 times the rate on the Upper East Side (6).


How is this relevant to Harlem Hospital?

 Harlem Hospital’s patient population is 44.5% African American, 40.8% Hispanic, 9.5% White, 3% Asian, and 1.7% other (7). Racial disparities in health are reflected in the high rates of certain health outcomes amongst this population. Central Harlem also has the 3rd highest infant mortality rate at 8.1 per 1,000 live births compared to 3.4 per 1,000 in Manhattan overall (6). Central Harlem also has the 7th highest premature mortality rate in NYC at 293.1 per 100,000 compared with 152.7 per 100,000 in Manhattan overall (6).


If I am interested in this topic, where can I learn more?

Watch the documentary “Welcome to the World (8) - (58min)

This documentary looks at childbirth, maternal mortality, and infant health around the world, including Cambodia, Sierra Leone, and the United States.

Watch Yale Essentials of Global Health lecture “Child Health” (9) - (24min)

This Yale lecture discusses the most important causes and trends in infant mortality worldwide.

Watch Frontline documentary “Poor Kids” (10) - (54min)

The documentary talks with families about their experiences with childhood poverty across the United States, including childhood hunger and housing insecurity.

Listen to WBUR “U.S. Child Poverty is On the Rise” (11) - (46min)

This radio program discusses a recent study that showed almost 1 in 4 children lives in poverty in the United States overall, and in some states like New Mexico, the rate is almost 30%.



 1.       Freakonomics. (2013, February 22). Taking on the Myths of Child Mortality. Retrieved from

2.       Health Triage. (2016, August 22). Infant Mortality in the United States is Surprisingly High. Retrieved from

3.       Child Mortality. (n.d.). Retrieved from

4.       Newsreel, C. (2014, October 22). Unraveling the Mystery of Black-White Differences in Infant Mortality. Retrieved from

5.       Surviving Year One. Retrieved from

6.       New York City Community Health Profiles. Retrieved February 21, 2017, from

7.       HARLEM HOSPITAL CENTER - Retrieved February 20, 2017, from

8.       The Why. (2013, January 11). Welcome To The World - Why Poverty? Retrieved from

9.       Child Health - Module 4: Cross-Cutting Themes in Global Health - Part II. Retrieved from

10.    Poor Kids. Retrieved from

11.    WBUR. (2013, June 25). U.S. Child Poverty Is On The Rise. Retrieved from